The Bahamas government surprisingly announced yesterday that it has taken a policy decision to suspend consideration of all applications for oil exploration and drilling in the waters of The Bahamas.
“The Ministry of The Environment believes that this prudent policy requirement is in the best interest of The Bahamas and the social, economic and environmental well-being of future generations of Bahamian citizens and visitors,” said a statement released to the press.
Minister for the Environment Dr Earl Deveaux admitted that the government has received an accelerated number of applications from companies wishing to explore or drill for oil in Bahamian waters.
But, he said, the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this summer was also, taken into consideration.
Deveaux said there is a real likelihood of finding oil in The Bahamas.
“And so we need to be positioned to accommodate that likelihood,” he said.
The statement from the ministry said all existing licenses will be reviewed to ascertain any legal entitlement for renewal.
However, companies that currently have licenses have been informed of the government’s revised position.
“What makes The Bahamas special is its environment. Those things we need to have careful regard for before we go following the money,” the minister added.